Leprechaun Links: Slot Overview
Microgaming partner Slingshot Studios' Link&Win line of slots picks up pace, gaining an Irish themed version called Leprechaun Links. The ball started when Game of Thrones Power Stacks dropped earlier in the year, increased speed with Links of Ra, and has continued on in Leprechaun Links. So far, all three slots might look different on the outside, yet everything is essentially the same beneath the surface. This means the same math model, stats, and features, including Power Stacks, free spins, as well as the Link&Win bonus game.
An unoriginal theme choice gets a relatively unoriginal set of graphics fronting it. Players find themselves deep in a Celtic wood, which admittedly does come across a little magical. Everything has an old, gnarly look to it; moss abounds as if this forest has stood untouched by human hands, perhaps forever. Maybe it resides in another dimension. Slingshot has gone for a light touch in regard to leprechauns as well. Often, they dance and jape all over the screen in a slot, but in Leprechaun Links, they only really appear on the wild symbol – some might say less is more in this case. Music is one of Leprechaun Link's high points, and the soundtrack combines a relaxing Irish ditty with chirping sounds of the forest.
Leprechaun Links is played over a 5-reel, 4-row game grid, where players make use of 40 fixed paylines to land winners on. Like the previous games mentioned above, Leprechaun Links has variable RTP settings, so the one to be on the lookout for is the 96.2% version. Despite the disarming audio-visuals, volatility here has been rated 'very high', while players celebrate hits at a rate of 29.63%, on average. Any device can host the action, which allows bets of 20 p/c to £/€20 per spin to be engaged.
Celtic iconography rules the day on the paytable, where regular symbols consist of clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades, pipes, harps, beer mugs, bags of gold, and watches. Pretty standard stuff, where premium symbols range in value from 5 to 7.5 times your stake for a five of a kind winning line. As mentioned, the leprechaun chap is displayed on the wild, landing in any position to replace regular paying symbols. Wilds also pay up to 25x the bet for a line of five of them.
Leprechaun Links: Slot Features
A trio of features provides the thrills and key winning possibilities in Leprechaun Links. These are Power Stacks, the Link&Win, plus free spins.
To the left of the screen, the Power Stacks indicator displays which random symbol is Super Stacked for the current spin. Super Stacks of this symbol type are added to the reels. This can be any symbol except the wild or the scatter.
Landing at least 6 coin symbols triggers the Link&Win bonus round. The triggering coins remain on the reels, but all other symbols vanish, and 3 spins are awarded. During the Link&Win, only coins may land, and when they do, they lock in position, plus reset spins counter. If the Link&Win is triggered from the base game, normal coins carry values of 2x to 15x, while Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Diamond coins are worth 20x, 100x, 500x, or 2,500x the bet, respectively.
Should 3, 4, or 5 scatters symbols land, players collect a payout of 1x, 10x, or 100x the bet plus 15 free spins. During free spins, all wins are multiplied by x2. In addition, if the Link&Win is triggered from free spins, all coin symbols have their values doubled.
Leprechaun Links: Slot Verdict
This might be early days, but after Game of Thrones Power Stacks, Links of Ra, and Leprechaun Links, it feels like Slingshot Studios has uncovered their raison d'être, which is creating Link&Win powered games. No issues with that necessarily, except they've all basically been the same slot. Game of Thrones Power Stacks set the bar quite high, though much of the enjoyment was due to the theme, particularly the excellent use of the show's soundtrack and familiar faces. Since then, Slingshot's subsequent Link&Wins have been clones. Using the same features dilutes desirability, and instead of the eye-catching Game of Thrones theme, we got commonplace Egyptian and Irish ones. Hardly an evolution, and since capturing GOT Power Stacks on the reels, it's been largely downhill.
In a vacuum, Leprechaun Links isn't a bad option if you're after some Celtic infused streak respin gaming. Like Links of Ra, Leprechaun Links is also a sleek production, serving straightforward hold and win style gaming while boasting massive numbers. Jackpot-wise, the 5,000x Diamond award, if triggered from free spins, is something to shoot for, though the max win is claimed to be as high as 25,000x the bet. How someone might crack this is an interesting question – from multiple Diamond prizes, a colossal round of free spins, or maybe a combination of both is needed to get anywhere close.
After playing Game of Thrones Power Stacks, then Links of Ra, then finding out Leprechaun Links offers the same features and stats, enthusiasm wasn't exactly running hot. Maybe it's three times the charm, and if there's a fourth, Slingshot will pick a more creative theme or tweak the gameplay to act in a different manner. It seems a little unlikely, as if Slingshot have stumbled upon an ideal formula to suit their needs. That's great for them, all they have to do from now on is shuffle the visuals, but for players who like an iota of originality in their games, Leprechaun Links will be as neutral as Links of Ra was. On the other hand, it functions fine, so players after a perfectly adequate hold and win game should be able to find thrills here, provided the Irish theme doesn't feel overdone.
A clone with an Irish theme isn’t exactly a recipe for innovation, but Leprechaun Links’ features and stats might be enough to win fans of basic hold & win games over.